October 20, 2014

Expanding My Musical Horizons, Courtesy Of My Public Library

I love my public library.

At the library, I can indulge my reading fix of new and not-so-new fiction and non-fiction to my heart's content. I can also contribute financially to the "Friends Of The Library" by purchasing gently used c.d.'s for $1 & $2. I find that having the opportunity to purchase gently used c.d.'s at roughly a 98% discount basically allows me to explore genres/artists that I wouldn't give a 2nd glance to, and to explore a given artist's deep catalogue of work.

I've made roughly a half dozen purchases over this year totaling just under 2 dozen c.d.'s and costing me about $23, which if bought new, you would have to add a 0 and double the final total. All of these c.d. are from either artists I've heard of (listening to college radio has seriously expanded my musical horizons) or genres that I've made known I seriously hate (i.e. country pop).

My purchases are of the basic principle, As Is, and for the most part, what I bought is what I got. However, I did have one or two surprises with what I'd bought, so in no particular order of importance, here is what this almost 50 writer/blogger has acquired for used music, courtesy of his public library. By the way, because I've listened to almost everything under the sun, there is almost nothing that I don't like. Almost.

1} ParkLife by Blur (alt rock, most people know only their hit song Song #2). Factoid: Damon Alborn co-created Gorillaz.

2} A Place In The Sun by Lit (alt rock, most people know only their hit song My Own Worst Enemy).

3} LP by The Rembrandts (alt rock, most people know them from the show Friends).

4} A Few Small Repairs & Holiday Songs And Lullabies by Shawn Colvin. Not a clue on what she's known for but I've heard her a lot on college radio.

5} Strange Fire by The Indigo Girls. (alt rock, most people know their monster hit Closer To Fine).

6} TigerLily by Natalie Merchant. (alt rock, this contains her monster overkilled hit Wonder).

7} Tyranny of Beauty by Tangerine Dream. Not a clue who they are, but for a $1, it's worth exploring.

8} Running On Empty by Jackson Browne. This was one of those "Oops!" c.d.'s as what was on the cover was not what was inside. Inside was Solo Acoustic, Volume 1, which was a pretty decent c.d.

8} Rascal Flatts by Rascal Flatts. I've heard them on college radio and for me, because they're not too mainstream country, I had no problem in exploring their music. Sadly, this became another "Oops!" because inside was a c.d. by Jessica Andrews called Heart Shaped World.

10} Honky Tonk Boots by Sammy Kershaw. What makes this purchase unusual is that the c.d. was brand new, aka straight from the shelf. A somewhat mainstream country artist, at the moment, this remains the only c.d. from that sappy genre that I actually like. How unusual is that? I left a review on Amazon for this c.d.

11} Yourself Or Someone Like You by matchbox 20. One of the multiple incarnations that Rob Thomas has used over the years. I like him as a vocalist, which is why I picked up this c.d.

12} Nothing's Shocking by Jane's Addiction. They seriously mutilate exactly two songs by them on the radio on a daily basis, so when I had a chance to pick up a c.d. that didn't contain one of those tired songs, I jumped at it.

13} Better Days by The Susan Tedeschi Band. What makes this unusual is that this was a self released c.d. of hers from the early 90's, back when releasing indie music wasn't the norm like it is today.

14} MTV Unplugged by Bob Dylan. This was an iffy purchase 'cause listening to Bob Dylan today is like listening to Billy Bob Thornton's Carl from the movie "Sling Blade" or one of Johnny Cash's American Recording VI when his voice was totally and completely gone.

15} Pet Your Friends by Dishwalla. I'll admit it, I picked up this c.d. purely because of the one overkilled alt rock hit they had. After listening to it, I can safely say that the rest of the c.d. is pretty good. Solid 4 stars.

15} Hooray For Boobies by The Bloodhound Gang. Never heard of The Bloodhound Gang, but any c.d. that has the infamous Parental Advisory sticker on it always piques my curiosity. They have one hit from it that has something like 113 million views on YouTube.

16} Hot by The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Back when the Ska revival was going hot and heavy in the mid 90's, The Squirrel Nut Zippers were one of the major proponents. Not too terribly impressed with them, nor with the others like The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I must confess that I haven't heard any of these CDs. Glad you like them though!

  2. You picked up the Bloodhound Gang! Careful, that one hit of theirs gets in your head and won't leave.

  3. Debra: A majority of this stuff came out in the late 90's on commercial alternative rock radio, which for the most part is just like listening to pop radio, in that they have a narrow playlist and they don't go deeper into a given c.d.

    Alex: That one hit I may have heard of on alt rock radio, but after listening to about a minute of it, I was not impressed.

  4. I have that Natalie Merchant CD - I haven't listened to it in quite a while.

    And I have that Squirrel Nut Zippers CD - I had forgotten about it, too.

    Lots of good things there.

  5. I love our library bookstore - I picked up Toad the Wet Sprocket and Psych Furs!

  6. Lynn: I think enough time has gone by to where I can actually listen to Natalie Merchant without getting disgusted (overkilling a song to the point where you don't want to listen to that artist at all will often do that) and probably appreciate it.

    M: Kewl beans on those!

  7. Our library has those kind of sales and I have never participated. Now I shall. You gathered up quite a collection.

    Have you seen that another of our blog friends has published a novel. If you follow TALON she announced with excitement her book release on her blog.

  8. G.A.: It's the easiest and cheapest way to expand my horizons.

    Yes I did, I saw the post in my inbox today and left a comment about it. I'm extremely happy for her.

  9. I used to listen to Tangerine Dream in the '80s. They made some pretty weird music along the way, in their electronic experiments. I have not heard the Tyranny of Beauty album. I'd be interested in hearing a review once you've listened to it.

  10. S.R.: Good to know what their musical stylings are because I've never heard of them before. I will do my best to come up with a review after I listen to it.


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